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Basic Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft Excel is an expansive program that allows for the organization of data in many capacities. The spreadsheets are useful for a wide range of applications, but navigating within them can be a daunting task. Use the shortcuts below to better navigate the program and be more productive in the use of Excel.

Note that in Excel 2010, there are no longer screen reminders of ALT+ menu shortcuts, and some shortcuts may not work. However, all of the CTRL+ keyboard shortcuts will work.

MORE: 14 Windows 8 Tips and Tricks

Selecting data

WINDOWS

Shift + SpaceSelect the entire row.
CTRL + SpaceSelect the entire column.
CTRL + Shift + * (asterisk)Select the current region around the active cell.
CTRL + A (or CTRL + Shift + spacebar)Select the entire worksheet or the data-containing area. Press CTRL + A twice to select entire worksheet.
CTRL + Shift + Page UpSelect the current and previous sheet in a workbook.
CTRL + Shift + OSelect all cells with comments
Shift + Arrow KeysExtend the selection by one cell.
CTRL + Shift + Arrow KeyExtend the selection to the last cell with content in row or column.
Shift + Page DownExtend the selection one screen down.
Shift + Page UpExtend the selection one screen up.
Shift + HomeExtend the selection to the beginning of the row.
CTRL + Shift + HomeExtend the selection to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL + Shift + EndExtend the selection to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).

Managing Active Selections

F8Turn on extension of selection with arrow keys without having to keep pressing shift.
Shift + F8Add another (adjacent or non-adjacent) range of cells to the selection. Use arrow keys and shift+arrow keys to add to selection.
Shift + BackspaceSelect only the active cell when multiple cells are selected.
CTRL + BackspaceShow active cell within selection.
CTRL + . (period)Move clockwise to the next corner of the selection.
EnterMove active cell down in a selection.
Shift + EnterMove active cell up in a selection.
TabMove active cell right in a selection.
Shift + TabMove active cell left in a selection.
CTRL + Alt + Arrow RightMove to the right between non-adjacent selections (with multiple ranges selected).
CTRL + Alt + Arrow LeftMove to the left between non-adjacent selections (with multiple ranges selected).
EscCancel selection.

Selecting inside cells

Shift + Arrow LeftSelect or unselect one character to the left.
Shift + Arrow RightSelect or unselect one character to the right.
CTRL + Shift + Arrow LeftSelect or unselect one word to the left.
CTRL + Shift + Arrow RightSelect or unselect one word to the right.
Shift + HomeSelect from the insertion point to the beginning of the cell.
Shift + EndSelect from the insertion point to the end of the cell.

MAC

F8Turn on extend selection mode; use with arrow keys or cursor.
Shift + F8Add to the selection.
CTRL + ReturnFill the selected cell range with the text that you type.
Shift + ReturnComplete a cell entry and move back in the selection.

Inserting and editing data

Working with the data within an Excel spreadsheet often calls for the insertion and editing of the cells themselves. This can include using Clipboard to copy or cut cells, editing within specific cells, or hiding elements to make the spreadsheet easier to read.

WINDOWS

Work with Clipboard

CTRL + CCopy contents of selected cells.
CTRL + XCut contents of selected cells.
CTRL + VPaste content from clipboard into selected cell.
CTRL + Alt + VIf data exists in clipboard: Display the Paste Special dialog box.
CTRL + Shift + (plus sign)If data exists in clipboard: Display the Insert dialog box to insert blank cells.

Edit Inside Cells

F2Edit the active cell with cursor at end of the line.
Alt + EnterStart a new line in the same cell.
EnterComplete a cell entry and move down in the selection. With multiple cells selected: fill cell range with current cell.
Shift + EnterComplete a cell entry and move up in the selection.
TabComplete a cell entry and move to the right in the selection.
Shift + TabComplete a cell entry and move to the left in the selection.
EscCancel a cell entry.
BackspaceDelete the character to the left of the insertion point, or delete the selection.
DeleteDelete the character to the right of the insertion point, or delete the selection.
CTRL + DeleteDelete text to the end of the line.
CTRL + ; (semicolon)Insert current date.
CTRL + Shift + : (colon)Insert current time.

Edit Active or Selected Cells

CTRL + DFill complete cell down (Copy above cell).
CTRL + RFill complete cell to the right (Copy cell from the left).
CTRL + " (quotation marks)Fill cell values down and edit (Copy above cell values).
CTRL + ' (apostrophe)Fill cell formulas down and edit (Copy above cell formulas).
CTRL + LInsert a table (display Create Table dialog box).
CTRL + - (minus sign)Delete Cell/Row/Column Menu
CTRL + - (minus sign) with row or column selectedDelete row or column.
CTRL + Shift + + (plus sign)Insert Cell/Row/Column Menu
CTRL + Shift + + (plus sign) with row or column selectedInsert row or column.
Shift+F2Insert / Edit a cell comment.
Shift + F10, then MDelete comment.
Alt + F1Create and insert chart with data in current range as embedded Chart Object.
F11Create and insert chart with data in current range in a separate Chart sheet.
CTRL + KInsert a hyperlink.
Enter (in a cell with a hyperlink)Activate a hyperlink.

Hide and Show Elements

CTRL + 9Hide the selected rows.
CTRL + Shift + 9Unhide any hidden rows within the selection.
CTRL + 0 (zero)Hide the selected columns.
CTRL + ` (grave accent)Alternate between displaying cell values and displaying cell formulas. Accent grave /not a quotation mark.
Alt + Shift + Arrow RightGroup rows or columns.
Alt + Shift + Arrow LeftUngroup rows or columns.
CTRL + 8Display or hides the outline symbols.
CTRL + 6Alternate between hiding objects, displaying objects, and displaying placeholders for objects.

MAC

F1Undo.
F2Cut text from the active cell.
Shift + F2Edit a cell comment.
F3Copy text from the active cell.
Shift + F3Open the Formula Builder.
F4Paste text into the active cell.
EscCancel a cell entry.
Command + YRepeat the last action.
Shift + F2Edit a cell comment.
CTRL + DFill down.
CTRL + RFill to the right.
CTRL + LDefine a name.